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3 Monster Growth Stocks to Buy From the Drybulk Space, According to One Analyst

Even though COVID still makes headlines, with Delta and other variants, the world is starting to emerge from the economic disruptions of the pandemic. Vaccination programs are expanding, and –
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Even though COVID still makes headlines, with Delta and other variants, the world is starting to emerge from the economic disruptions of the pandemic. Vaccination programs are expanding, and – with the notable exception of Australia – governments are growing leery of imposing strict lockdowns again. The result is a return to economic growth, and a resumption of global trade.

While supply chains still have not returned to normal, some industries are showing impressive gains. Drybulk, the seaborne trade in raw materials carried in bulk lots on freight vessels, is one of these.

Looking at the near- to mid-term prospects for global trade, H.C. Wainwright analyst analyst Magnus Fyhr writes: “…we remain constructive on the outlook for the drybulk market as we believe moderating demand growth coupled with limited fleet growth should result in further tightening of the supply/demand balance and support strong vessel earnings over the next year. While seaborne trade volumes are well above pre-pandemic levels and growth in China is slowing down, commodity demand for the rest of the world is catching up and should support further growth in seaborne trade volumes.”

Fyhr goes on to point out several drybulk equities that he sees continuing to gain in the current trade environment. We are talking returns of at least 40% over the next 12 months. It also doesn’t hurt that each stock is admired by the rest of the analyst community, enough so to earn a “Strong Buy” consensus rating.

StarBulk Carriers (SBLK)

We’ll start with Star Bulk Carriers, a specialist in the drybulk ocean trade. This Greek-based company has an ‘on the water’ fleet of 128 carriers, averaging 9.3 years old and including both the largest Newcastlemax and Capesize carriers for the long hauls as well as the smaller Ultramax and Supramax vessels that hope from port to port along coasts. Shares in Star have gained 188% this year.

The quality of Star’s fleet and capabilities is clear from the company’s financial performance. In early August, Star reported a net profit of $124.2 million for 2Q21, or $1.22 per share. This result represented tremendous gain turnaround from the 46-cent net loss reported in the year-ago quarter, and was up 238% from Q1. At the top line, the $311 million reported revenue was more than double the year-ago figure, and the best quarterly revenue in over two years. The company finished the quarter with $238 million cash on hand.

Star’s sound finances backed the company’s 70-cent per common share dividend. The payment, which was slashed down to just 5 cents during the pandemic crisis, has been raised twice so far this year. The current payment annualizes to $2.80 per common share and gives a solid yield of 4.2%.

Star shares have raced ahead 188% this year, but would you believe it could go up another 45%? H.C. Wainwright's Fyhr does. The analyst rates SBLK a Buy along with a $35 price target. (To watch Fyhr’s track record, click here)

"With most of the fleet operating in the spot market, we believe SBLK is well positioned to capture current strength in the spot market. With an average fleet cash break-even level of $9,800/day, including debt amortization, we believe SBLK is poised to generate significant cash flows in 2021 and 2022. While spot rates are at a ten-year high, we still believe that we are in the early stages of a multi-year cycle as steady demand growth coupled with lower fleet growth should result in improved utilization and firmer charter rates over the next few years," Fyhr opined.

The analyst summed up, "We believe SBLK shares are attractively valued trading at 4.5x our 2021E EV/EBITDA and a 9% premium to our current NAV estimate of $21.63/share compared to the drybulk yield peer group..."

A full house of Buys – 5, in fact – provides the shipping company with a Strong Buy consensus rating from the Street. The average price target comes in at $31.75 and indicates ~31% upside from current levels. (See SBLK stock analysis on TipRanks)

Eagle Bulk Shipping (EGLE)

Next up, Eagle Bulk Shipping, is another major player in the drybulk sector. The company focuses on the shorter-haul trade, with a fleet of Ultramax and Supramax vessels in the 50K to 65K ton deadweight range. Eagle’s fleet comprises 53 vessels totaling 3.2 million tons – and at 8.8 years average, it’s a younger fleet than Star’s above. Eagle’s ships carry a wide range of cargos, including cement and coal, fertilizer and grains, and iron and other ores.

In the second quarter of this year, Eagle posted revenues of $129.9 million, up more than 126% from the year-ago quarter. EPS was down 10 cents sequentially, from 84 cents in Q1 to 74 cents in 2Q21. Higher charter rates this year compared to last year helped to drive the increase in revenues. Eagle reported $83.8 million in cash as of the end of June, as well as an additional $56 million in undrawn credit, to balance $176 million in outstanding debt.

Wainwright’s Fyhr initiated coverage of Eagle with a Buy rating and an $80 price target that indicates potential for 49% growth over the coming year.

Backing this stance, the analyst points to sound fundamentals in the drybulk carrying sector: “With slower fleet growth and robust Chinese demand for iron ore and coal, we expect the drybulk market to continue to improve, albeit at a slower pace than in 2021. While demand growth is expected to exceed supply growth in 2022, we believe much of the demand growth hinges on that drybulk demand recovers in the rest of the world to offset slowing demand in China.”

The analyst added, "We believe EGLE shares offer an attractive play on the drybulk market with a clear focus on the Supramax/Ultramax market segment... We believe EGLE shares are attractively valued trading at 3.1x 2021 EV/EBITDA and 14% discount to our NAV estimate of $59.34/share, which compares favorably to the drybulk peer group..."

Overall, there are only 3 analyst reviews on file for this company, and all agree that the stock is a Buy proposition. EGLE shares are priced at $53.65 with an average target of $70.67 suggesting an upside of ~32% in the next 12 months. (See EGLE stock analysis on TipRanks)

Genco Shipping, Inc. (GNK)

We’ll wrap up with Genco, another operator of high-end, modern bulk carriers. Like Star above, Genco operates a fleet of mixed capacity, from Supramax vessels of 55K deadweight tonnage to the largest oceangoing Capesize carriers.

Genco has seen recent strong gains in revenues and earnings, as well as a sharp increase in share price. GNK is up nearly 190% this year, and the company beat the revenue and earnings estimates in its 2Q21 financial report. That quarterly report showed $121 million at the top line with a net income of $32 million, or 75 cents per share. The EPS was the highest since 2010. Genco finished the second quarter with $161.2 million in cash on the balance sheet.

These sound results are supported by increasing charter rates in the shipping industry, and improved efficiencies in fuel usage. On the latter note, Genco in June entered into a multi-company framework agreement to test the viability of ammonia as an alternative fuel for maritime uses. The feasibility study is part of larger efforts to decarbonize the global bulk carrier fleet.

Since alt fuels are still in the early study stage, Genco is also taking steps to modernize its fleet. The company in May entered an agreement to acquire two new Ultramax vessels in 2022. These new vessels will be constructed in China and delivered to Genco in January of next year. Both new vessels will incorporate fuel efficiency technology to improve operating costs.

For Q2, Genco increased its dividend from 5 cents per common share to 10 cents. This was the second consecutive quarterly dividend increase, and marks a commitment by the company to grow the dividend back to pre-pandemic levels. At the current level, the dividend yield is modest, just under 1%.

Once again, we check in with H.C. Wainwright's Fyhr. The analyst sees Genco holding a solid position in its industry, writing of the company: “We believe GNK shares offer an attractive play on the drybulk market as the Capesize fleet is highly leveraged to Brazilian iron ore exports while the Supramax fleet provides stable cash flows to cover debt service and overhead.… In addition, GNK has installed scrubbers on 17 of its larger Capesize vessels, which we believe could provide additional fuel cost savings. While spot rates are at an eleven-year high, we still believe that this cycle has additional legs as steady demand growth coupled with lower fleet growth should result in improved utilization and elevated charter rates over the next few years.”

In line with these comments, Fyhr starts his overage of the stock with a Buy rating and a $30 price target. If correct, the analyst’s objective could deliver one-year returns of 41%.

All in all, Genco has attracted 6 recent analyst reviews, and these break down 5 to 1 in favor of Buy over Hold, for a Strong Buy consensus. The average price target of $27.33 implies an upside of ~29% for the next 12 months, from the current trading price of $21.22. (See GNK stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

The post 3 Monster Growth Stocks to Buy From the Drybulk Space, According to One Analyst appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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How They Convinced Trump To Lock Down

How They Convinced Trump To Lock Down

Authored by Jeffrey A. Tucker via Brownstone Institute,

An enduring mystery for three years is how…



How They Convinced Trump To Lock Down

Authored by Jeffrey A. Tucker via Brownstone Institute,

An enduring mystery for three years is how Donald Trump came to be the president who shut down American society for what turned out to be a manageable respiratory virus, setting off an unspeakable crisis with waves of destructive fallout that continue to this day. 

Let’s review the timeline and offer some well-founded speculations about what happened. 

On March 9, 2020, Trump was still of the opinion that the virus could be handled by normal means. 

Two days later, he changed his tune. He was ready to use the full power of the federal government in a war on the virus. 

What changed? Deborah Birx reports in her book that Trump had a friend die in a New York hospital and this is what shifted his opinion. Jared Kushner reports that he simply listened to reason. Mike Pence says he was persuaded that his staff would respect him more. No question (and based on all existing reports) that he found himself surrounded by “trusted advisors” amounting to about 5 or so people (including Mike Pence and Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb)

It was only a week later when Trump issued the edict to close all “indoor and outdoor venues where people congregate,” initiating the biggest regime change in US history that flew in the face of all rights and liberties Americans had previously taken for granted. It was the ultimate in political triangulation: as John F. Kennedy cut taxes, Nixon opened China, and Clinton reformed welfare, Trump shut down the economy he promised to revive. This action confounded critics on all sides. 

A month later, Trump said his decision to have “turned off” the economy saved millions of lives, later even claiming to have saved billions. He has yet to admit error. 

Even as late as June 23rd of that year, Trump was demanding credit for having followed all of Fauci’s recommendations. Why do they love him and hate me, he wanted to know. 

Something about this story has never really added up. How could one person have been so persuaded by a handful of others such as Fauci, Birx, Pence, and Kushner and his friends? He surely had other sources of information – some other scenario or intelligence – that fed into his disastrous decision. 

In one version of events, his advisors simply pointed to the supposed success of Xi Jinping in enacting lockdowns in Wuhan, which the World Health Organization claimed had stopped infections and brought the virus under control. Perhaps his advisors flattered Trump with the observation that he is at least as great as the president of China so he should be bold and enact the same policies here. 

One problem with this scenario is timing. The Oval Office meetings that preceded his March 16, 2020, edict took place the weekend of the 14th and 15th, Friday and Saturday. It was already clear by the 11th that Trump was ready for lockdowns. This was the same day as Fauci’s deliberately misleading testimony to the House Oversight Committee in which he rattled the room with predictions of Hollywood-style carnage. 

On the 12th, Trump shut all travel from Europe, the UK, and Australia, causing huge human pile-ups at international airports. On the 13th, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a classified document that transferred control of pandemic policy from the CDC to the National Security Council and eventually the Department of Homeland Security. By the time that Trump met with Fauci and Birx in that legendary weekend, the country was already under quasi-martial law. 

Isolating the date in the trajectory here, it is apparent that whatever happened to change Trump occurred on March 10, 2020, the day after his Tweet saying there should be no shutdowns and one day before Fauci’s testimony. 

That something very likely revolves around the most substantial discovery we’ve made in three years of investigations. It was Debbie Lerman who first cracked the code: Covid policy was forged not by the public-health bureaucracies but by the national-security sector of the administrative state. She has further explained that this occurred because of two critical features of the response: 1) the belief that this virus came from a lab leak, and 2) the vaccine was the biosecurity countermeasure pushed by the same people as the fix. 

Knowing this, we gain greater insight into 1) why Trump changed his mind, 2) why he has never explained this momentous decision and otherwise completely avoids the topic, and 3) why it has been so unbearably difficult to find out any information about these mysterious few days other than the pablum served up in books designed to earn royalties for authors like Birx, Pence, and Kushner. 

Based on a number of second-hand reports, all available clues we have assembled, and the context of the times, the following scenario seems most likely. On March 10, and in response to Trump’s dismissive tweet the day before, some trusted sources within and around the National Security Council (Matthew Pottinger and Michael Callahan, for example), and probably involving some from military command and others, came to Trump to let him know a highly classified secret. 

Imagine a scene from Get Smart with the Cone of Silence, for example. These are the events in the life of statecraft that infuse powerful people with a sense of their personal awesomeness. The fate of all of society rests on their shoulders and the decisions they make at this point. Of course they are sworn to intense secrecy following the great reveal. 

The revelation was that the virus was not a textbook virus but something far more threatening and terrible. It came from a research lab in Wuhan. It might in fact be a bioweapon. This is why Xi had to do extreme things to protect his people. The US should do the same, they said, and there is a fix available too and it is being carefully guarded by the military. 

It seems that the virus had already been mapped in order to make a vaccine to protect the population. Thanks to 20 years of research on mRNA platforms, they told him,  this vaccine can be rolled out in months, not years. That means that Trump can lock down and distribute vaccines to save everyone from the China virus, all in time for the election. Doing this would not only assure his reelection but guarantee that he would go down in history as one of the greatest US presidents of all time. 

This meeting might only have lasted an hour or two – and might have included a parade of people with the highest-level security clearances – but it was enough to convince Trump. After all, he had battled China for two previous years, imposing tariffs and making all sorts of threats. It was easy to believe at that point that China might have initiated biological warfare as retaliation. That’s why he made the decision to use all the power of the presidency to push a lockdown under emergency rule. 

To be sure, the Constitution does not allow him to override the discretion of the states but with the weight of the office complete with enough funding and persuasion, he could make it happen. And thus did he make the fateful decision that not only wrecked his presidency but the country too, imposing harms that will last a generation. 

It only took a few weeks for Trump to become suspicious about what happened. For weeks and months, he toggled between believing that he was tricked and believing that he did the right thing. He had already approved another 30 days of lockdowns and even inveighed against Georgia and later Florida for opening. He went so far as to claim that no state could open without his approval. 

He did not fully change his mind until August, when Scott Atlas revealed the whole con to him. 

There is another fascinating feature to this entirely plausible scenario. Even as Trump’s advisors were telling him that this could be a bioweapon leaked from the lab in China, we had Anthony Fauci and his cronies going to great lengths to deny it was a lab leak (even if they believed that it was). This created an interesting situation. The NIH and those surrounding Fauci were publicly insisting that the virus was of zoonotic origin, even as Trump’s circle was telling the president that it should be regarded as a bioweapon. 

Fauci belonged to both camps, which suggests that Trump very likely knew of Fauci’s deception all along: the “noble lie” to protect the public from knowing the truth. Trump had to be fine with that. 

Gradually following the lockdown edicts and the takeover by the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with a very hostile CDC, Trump lost power and influence over his own government, which is why his later Tweets urging a reopening fell on deaf ears. To top it off, the vaccine failed to arrive in time for the election. This is because Fauci himself delayed the rollout until after the election, claiming that the trials were not racially diverse enough. Thus Trump’s gambit completely failed, despite all the promises of those around him that it was a guaranteed way to win reelection.

To be sure, this scenario cannot be proven because the entire event – certainly the most dramatic political move in at least a generation and one with unspeakable costs for the country – remains cloaked in secrecy. Not even Senator Rand Paul can get the information he needs because it remains classified. If anyone thinks the Biden approval of releasing documents will show what we need, that person is naive. Still, the above scenario fits all available facts and it is confirmed by second-hand reports from inside the White House. 

It’s enough for a great movie or a play of Shakespearean levels of tragedy. And to this day, none of the main players are speaking openly about it. 

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Liberty or Lockdown, and thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/24/2023 - 17:40

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Could the common cold give children immunity against COVID? Our research offers clues

Certain immune cells acquired from a coronavirus that causes the common cold appear to react to COVID – but more so in children that adults.

Why children are less likely to become severely ill with COVID compared with adults is not clear. Some have suggested that it might be because children are less likely to have diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, that are known to be linked to more severe COVID. Others have suggested that it could be because of a difference in ACE2 receptors in children – ACE2 receptors being the route through which the virus enters our cells.

Some scientists have also suggested that children may have a higher level of existing immunity to COVID compared with adults. In particular, this immunity is thought to come from memory T cells (immune cells that help your body remember invading germs and destroy them) generated by common colds – some of which are caused by coronaviruses.

We put this theory to the test in a recent study. We found that T cells previously activated by a coronavirus that causes the common cold recognise SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID) in children. And these responses declined with age.

Read more: Does COVID really damage your immune system and make you more vulnerable to infections? The evidence is lacking

Early in the pandemic, scientists observed the presence of memory T cells able to recognise SARS-CoV-2 in people who had never been exposed to the virus. Such cells are often called cross-reactive T cells, as they stem from past infections due to pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2. Research has suggested these cells may provide some protection against COVID, and even enhance responses to COVID vaccines.

What we did

We used blood samples from children, sampled at age two and then again at age six, before the pandemic. We also included adults, none of whom had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

In these blood samples, we looked for T cells specific to one of the coronaviruses that causes the common cold (called OC43) and for T cells that reacted against SARS-CoV-2.

We used an advanced technique called high-dimensional flow cytometry, which enabled us to identify T cells and characterise their state in significant detail. In particular, we looked at T cells’ reactivity against OC43 and SARS-CoV-2.

We found SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells were closely linked to the frequency of OC43-specific memory T cells, which was higher in children than in adults. The cross-reactive T cell response was evident in two-year-olds, strongest at age six, and then subsequently became weaker with advancing age.

We don’t know for sure if the presence of these T cells translates to protection against COVID, or how much. But this existing immunity, which appears to be especially potent in early life, could go some way to explaining why children tend to fare better than adults with a COVID infection.

A little boy sleeps with a teddy bear.
Children are less likely to get very sick from COVID than adults. Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock

Some limitations

Our study is based on samples from adults (26-83 years old) and children at age two and six. We didn’t analyse samples from children of other ages, which will be important to further understand age differences, especially considering that the mortality rate from COVID in children is lowest from ages five to nine, and higher in younger children. We also didn’t have samples from teenagers or adults younger than 26.

In addition, our study investigated T cells circulating in the blood. But immune cells are also found in other parts of the body. It remains to be determined whether the age differences we observed in our study would be similar in samples from the lower respiratory tract or tonsil tissue, for example, in which T cells reactive against SARS-CoV-2 have also been detected in adults who haven’t been exposed to the virus.

Read more: Colds, flu and COVID: how diet and lifestyle can boost your immune system

Nonetheless, this study provides new insights into T cells in the context of COVID in children and adults. Advancing our understanding of memory T cell development and maturation could help guide future vaccines and therapies.

Marion Humbert received funding from KI Foundation for Virus Research (Karolinsk Institutet, Sweden) and Läkare mot AIDS (Sweden).

Annika Karlsson receives funding from the Swedish Research Council (Dnr 2020-02033), CIMED project grant, senior (Dnr: 20190495), and Karolinska Institutet (Dnr: 2019-00931 and 2020-01599).

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Where there’s smoke, there’s thiocyanate: McMaster researchers find tobacco users in Canada are exposed to higher levels of cyanide than other regions

HAMILTON, ON – Mar 24, 2024 – Tobacco users in Canada are exposed to higher levels of cyanide than smokers in lower-income nations, according to a…



HAMILTON, ON – Mar 24, 2024 Tobacco users in Canada are exposed to higher levels of cyanide than smokers in lower-income nations, according to a large-scale population health study from McMaster University.

Credit: McMaster University

HAMILTON, ON – Mar 24, 2024 Tobacco users in Canada are exposed to higher levels of cyanide than smokers in lower-income nations, according to a large-scale population health study from McMaster University.

Scientists made the discovery while investigating the molecule thiocyanate – a detoxified metabolite excreted by the body after cyanide inhalation. It was measured as a urinary biomarker of tobacco use in a study of self-reported smokers and non-smokers from 14 countries of varying socioeconomic status.

“We expected the urinary thiocyanate levels would be similar across regions and reflect primarily smoking intensity. However, we noticed significant elevation of thiocyanate in smokers from high-income countries even after adjusting for differences in the number of cigarettes smoked per day,” says Philip Britz-McKibbin, co-author of the study and a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at McMaster.

Tobacco-related illness remains the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Canada, contributing to approximately 48,000 deaths annually. According to researchers, the findings could be caused by the type of cigarettes smoked in high-income countries like Canada.

“The cigarettes commonly consumed in Canada are highly engineered products with lower tar and nicotine content to imply they’re less harmful. Heavy smokers with nicotine dependence compensate by smoking more aggressively with more frequent and deeper inhalations that may elicit more harm, such as greater exposure to the respiratory and cardiotoxin, cyanide.”

Smoking rates in Canada have declined from 26 per cent in 2001 to 13 per cent in 2020. But participation in smoking cessation programs has declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to concern about a potential uptick in smoking rates, including cannabis use and a plethora of vaping of products popular among young adults.

Researchers say urinary thiocyanate can serve as a robust biomarker of the harms of tobacco smoke that will aid future research on the global tobacco picture, since most smokers now reside in developing countries. As smoking rates have decreased here in Canada, at-risk groups like youth and pregnant women have been prone to underreport their tobacco use when surveyed, making a reliable biomarker more valuable.

“Historically assessing tobacco behaviors have relied on questionnaires that are prone to bias, especially when comparing different countries and local cultures. The idea is to find robust methods that can quantify recent tobacco smoke exposure more reliably and objectively, which may better predict disease risk and prioritize interventions for smoking cessation.” says Britz-Mckibbin.

The study was published in the latest issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research and received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Genome Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Hamilton Health Sciences New Investigator Fund, and an internal grant from the Population Health Research Institute.




For more information please contact:

Matt Innes-Leroux

Media Relations

McMaster University

647-921-5461 (c)


Photos of Philip Britz-McKibbin can be found here

Credit: McMaster University

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